Britain Accelerates Deployment of Laser Weapons on Warships

Ministry of Defence Aims to Install DragonFire Lasers by 2027

In a bid to bolster its defence capabilities and counter the growing threat of drones, Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced plans to equip its warships with laser weapons by 2027, five years ahead of the original schedule. The move comes as part of wider reforms aimed at expediting the deployment of new technology in the armed forces, reports Reuters.

The DragonFire lasers, developed by the MOD, have the potential to revolutionize aerial defence by offering a cost-effective and precise solution for shooting down drones. According to the ministry, these lasers can fire at any visible target in the air at a cost of around £10 ($12.52) per shot, with an accuracy equivalent to hitting a pound coin from a distance of one kilometre (0.62 mile).

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps emphasized the importance of these reforms, stating, “In a more dangerous world, our approach to procurement is shifting with it … our widespread reforms will deliver the latest kit and weaponry for our Armed Forces faster.”

He further highlighted the UK’s leading role in military technology, adding, “DragonFire shows the best of the UK at the forefront of military technology, and we will not delay in getting it in the hands of our military to face down the threats we’re facing.”

Countering the Drone Threat

The deployment of laser weapons comes as a response to the increasing use of drones in modern warfare. Drones have emerged as a low-cost means of targeting expensive military assets, with the cost of destroying them often far exceeding the price of the drones themselves. For example, the Sea Viper missiles currently used by Britain to shoot down Houthi drones in the Red Sea are estimated to cost at least £1 million ($1.26 million) each.

The DragonFire lasers offer a more cost-effective alternative, with the ability to cut through targets using an intense beam of light. This technology could prove invaluable in protecting military assets and personnel from the growing threat posed by drones.

Looking Ahead

The accelerated deployment of laser weapons on British warships marks a significant step forward in the country’s defence capabilities. By embracing cutting-edge technology and adapting to the changing nature of modern warfare, the MOD aims to ensure that its armed forces are well-equipped to face the challenges of the future.

As the UK continues to invest in military innovation, the DragonFire lasers serve as a testament to the nation’s commitment to staying at the forefront of defence technology. With the first lasers set to be installed on warships by 2027, Britain is poised to enhance its aerial defence capabilities and better protect its forces in an increasingly complex and dangerous world.


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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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